PLANNERS are to visit the site of a proposed 200-foot-high wind turbine at a north Pembrokeshire mansion and arts charity home after fears were raised it would threaten the safe operation of the nearby West Wales Airport.
Mr and Mrs Glen Peters of Western Solar Ltd are seeking permission for a single 600kw turbine on land near the Grade II-listed Rhosygilwen Mansion, which includes an arts and functions building known as Neuaddydderwen.
The application, for the 62-metre-high turbine and associated works, was recommended for refusal at the January meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee for several reasons, including harm to the setting of the Grade-II-listed house and grounds, and threats to the safe operation of West Wales Airport at Aberporth in neighbouring Ceredigion, some 9.5 kilometres away.
Agent and specialist renewable energy developer Infinite Renewables Limited, in its supporting statement, said: “The survival of the business, the Pembrokeshire Retreat and Menter Rhosygilwen (the arts charity) which are conducted at Neuaddydderwen and the mansion, is dependent on lower energy costs. Winter imports of energy forced closure in 2022/23 due to high energy bills,” it adds.
A report for planners says the airport manager at West Wales Airport has objected to the proposed development due to possible interference with radar systems, which is disputed by an aviation consultant advising Infinite Renewables Limited.
The issue has also been raised by the MoD, which had requested further time so submit a response.
Speaking at the meeting, applicant Glen Peters said the application for a turbine was “made on both financial and ideological grounds,” to ensure the long-term viability of Rhosygilwen, acquired some 30 years previously as a fire-damaged house that was about to be pulled down.
He said that, despite 200-year-old Rhosygilwen using power from its solar farm, the first of its kind in Wales, along with ground source heating a biomass power, it was hit with “huge increases in importing energy from the grid” during the winter months.
New member of the planning committee, and local member for Cilgerran, Councillor John T Davies, attending his first committee meeting in 21 years, said support a recommendation of refusal would be “premature” while responses were awaited.
Cllr Davies called for a deferral on making a decision for two months.
An amendment to Cllr Davies’ proposal, to include a site visit, was made by Cllr Iwan Ward, which was unanimously supported by members.